Ghana launches Kelni GVG CMP to monitor revenues from telcos

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has joined the Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to officially launch the Common Monitoring Platform (CMP) built by Kelni GVG.

The event, which was held on the premises of the National Communications Authority (NCA), was attended by Chief Executive Officers of the four network companies operating in the country together with other key stakeholders within the country’s telecom space.

Speaking during the launch the Communications Minister, Mrs Owusu- Ekuful reiterated her ministry’s intention of setting up the Common Monitoring Platform to provide an objective means of verifying the information provided by the Telecom companies for tax revenue purposes in accordance with the law.

She expressed satisfaction at the efforts made by all the telcos to ensure that for the first time all their billing loads were connected fully to the platform and urged them to cooperate with the NCA and GVG by providing them with the necessary information needed to enable them also successfully monitor mobile money transactions

“We welcome all comments and suggestions that will improve upon the implementation of the common platform but hope that it will be based on proven facts and not be the figment of over-reactive imaginations and more fanciful fears” she added.

Meanwhile leading think tank firm, IMANI Africa says it is shock to see President Akufo Addo taking the lead in launching the Common Monitoring Platform after several damning reports of under handlings and issues of corruption have been raised against the signing of the deal with Haitian tech firm, Kelni GVG.

In a statement issued in Accra, the president of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe believes that seeing the President spearheading the launch of a platform embroiled in issues of corruption, transparency and privacy means that he has rather turn a blind eye on the real issues raised and follow the lead of his ministers instead of addressing the scary findings IMANI has so far made thus restoring a modicum of confidence in the whole revenue assurance policy before proceeding to launch the CMP.

In May 2018, IMANI commenced a campaign aimed at compelling the Ministry of Communications (MOC), the National Communications Authority (NCA), and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to review its engagement of KelniGVG in a $178 million project on the grounds that the entire approach to revenue assurance in the telecom sector was wrong-headed, and that the contract had been awarded in shady circumstances.

IMANI showed that the whole project could be undertaken for less than 1% of the amount being quoted and that the intended approach is not substantively different from what the country has been doing for many years now; and yet communications taxes (CST) had dropped from $58 million in 2016 to $54 million in 2017 despite Ghana spending about $32 million a year on various measures designed to “protect revenue”.

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